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March 4, 2011

Deana Allen

Amanda Butler

Ndidi Madu


Tennessee – 92
Florida - 75

THE MODERATOR: We're here with Florida. Coach Butler, an opening statement.
COACH BUTLER: Obviously really, really proud of our fight tonight. I told the team in the locker room, there were a lot of things we could have done better, but there's no way we kickoff fought any harder than we did. However, we didn't just come here to put up a good fight. We're disappointed we lost.
We feel we're playing our best basketball right now, feel good about our team going forward. We hope we get the opportunity to show that we're one of the best teams in the country.
THE MODERATOR: Deana, your thoughts on the game today?
DEANA ALLEN: I was excited coming into the game. I felt like we really had the chance of beating them. We knew it wasn't going to be easy, but we was going to fight as much as we could.
Of course, we're disappointed about the outcome. But, I mean, I'm proud of my teammates and what the coaches put together for this tournament. We'll try again next year.
NDIDI MADU: I agree with DA. Our fight was unbelievable today. There wasn't one point in the game I thought we were going to lose the game because of how hard my teammates were fighting. But it's a disappointing loss.
THE MODERATOR: We'll have questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Within two in the first half, scoring 36 points after not getting 40 against them in the regular-season games, what sort of confidence boost did that give you, what you were doing offensively against them?
DEANA ALLEN: It gave us a lot of confidence. For us to be only two points against one of the best teams in our league, it really gave us a lot more confidence than we already had. We came in the game believing we could do it, but being down two points at halftime sparked us.
NDIDI MADU: I expected us to come out with fire because this is the tournament. I don't know.

Q. How disappointing was the start of the second half with Glory Johnson coming out of the gates?
DEANA ALLEN: It was very disappointing because we knew they were going to come out at halftime and come out on a run. When Glory was scoring back to back to back, it deflated us in a way. We knew we had to answer. When coach called the timeout, we were trying to come back together and go on our run.
THE MODERATOR: Ndidi, your thoughts?
NDIDI MADU: I mean, that's expected. They had the lows in the game, and some parts of the game where they was just up. We expected them to come out wanting to make a run. For us, they should have been up more than two than us at halftime. We didn't come out with the same intensity in the second half as the first half and that was our fault.

Q. Your top three post players ended up fouling out of the game. Talk about how physical it got in the second half.
DEANA ALLEN: It was very physical. I didn't even know that we was in foul trouble like we were. I just wanted to play smart because I knew that I was the last one in there and I knew I had four fouls, but I just wanted to play start, play straight up.
NDIDI MADU: Just like Deana, wasn't aware we had that many fouls. I took it upon myself to rebound and give us second chances. Out of the guards, I'm the person that coach looks to to put in that extra fight under the boards.
I mean, it wasn't easy.
THE MODERATOR: We'll continue with questions for Coach Butler.

Q. Pat said she knew of you as a high school player, didn't recruit you. Talk about the first time you even heard about Pat Summitt and Tennessee ladies basketball. Is that where you wanted to go as a kid?
COACH BUTLER: If you're a basketball player, as a little girl in this state, when you begin playing basketball, that's when you know who Pat Summitt is.
You know, ironically, I did not have the burning desire to be a Lady Vols. That worked out well since she wasn't interested in me either. Just really proud to compete as a Gator. I always do admire what Pat has done. I've said it over and over again. She's the best. She deserves this arena to be filled up with orange, all the support and love that she gets in the state.

Q. Coach, did you feel like your team got tired in the second half or did it start to wear on you with the play inside?
COACH BUTLER: No, I didn't really feel like we were tired. Obviously we were having a hard time trying to manage the foul calls, our rotations, trying to keep the right people on the floor, trying to stay aggressive but stay out of harm's way. That's where we seemed to struggle.
I didn't feel like fatigue was ever a factor. They're a great team. Glory is just fantastic. She's a very hard match-up for anyone. You try to zone or try to man them up. The thing we wanted to be consistent with was our fight and effort, and I thought we did that pretty well. I didn't feel like we ever got tired. I felt like our team was ready to go, whatever was next.

Q. I think in the paint they got you 50 to 30. Talk about that inside presence they have, both size and strength. Did that wear on you guys?
COACH BUTLER: Certainly it's a challenge right from the tip. But when we're playing the last 10 minutes or so without the kids that play the bulk of the minutes for us in the paint, it becomes an even greater challenge.
Again, you have to give Tennessee credit for pounding the ball inside. Like I said, I don't think that was a game plan that took hold when we got in foul trouble. I think that was what they probably wanted to do from the onset.
It's a tremendous part of their ballgame and something that you have to reckon with when you know you're going to go toe-to-toe with them. The points certainly went in their direction in terms of paint scoring. But I thought the paint battle, if there's a way to measure battle, was probably pretty even.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, coach.
COACH BUTLER: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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